Located on the edge of 790 acres of wild and unspoilt Hampstead Heath, Hampstead is a pristinely beautiful escape from the business of central London. In the days when tuberculosis and cholera ravaged London, the rich moved to Hampstead- the highest spot in London. The result is a charming area of stately brick homes, many of which were inhabited by historical figures such as Robert Louis Stevenson, H.G. Wells and Daphne du Maurier.
The parish church of St. John-at-Hampstead was said to be the inspiration for the novel Dracula and it's easy to see why when you wander through the crooked gravestones covered in creeping ivy and moss. The spookiness continues as you leave the cemetery and walk down Church Row which is said to be haunted by the ghost of a maid who murdered a child and then smuggled the body out in a rug.
Continue uphill and you will discover the Pergola Hill and Garden where you can walk along the covered walkway that is covered in rambling plants and vines. Even during the winter, the architecture and solitude makes this hidden treasure an exciting place to explore. Once your fingers are frozen, head back down the hill to the main street and pop into Ginger and White for a coffee and a thick slice of their frosted gingerbread.